June 9, 2011

Stupid Fast Blog Tour - A 10 List by Geoff Herbach (Plus A Giveaway!!!)

Hello everybody! 

Stupid Fast
I'm so glad to welcome Geoff Herbach to the blog, today. He's he author of Stupid Fast which came out this past June 1st.

Now, there is saying that goes: "The blank page is God's way to show you just how hard is to be God" and I've come to believe it, but more than that it has always amazed me the things that I learn about my self (mostly that I'm deeply, scarily neurotic) when I write - both for the blog and when I need to tell a story - and so, for his visit today, I asked Geoff to tell me 10 things he has learned about himself while writing.

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10 Things I Found About Myself While Writing - A list by Geoff Herbach

1. I can get out of bed early. Before I started writing seriously, I had to peal my limp self up every day and it was hard and painful and sweaty and it made me dizzy. I began a novel for the first time about 10 years ago and found the only time I had during the day to write without interruption was pre-dawn. I could see this novel was actually something kind of good, which was hard to believe. I’d look in the mirror and shake my head and think, “Is this real?” I started jumping out of bed at 4:45 a.m. ready to blow it out. Weird.

2. Ellipses… I like ellipses… My characters all want to trail off… You won’t find many ellipses in Stupid Fast… Because copy editors don’t like them. (Alex's Note: Who doesn't love ellipses... they set...the mood...)

3. I am not James Joyce or Leo Tolstoy. When I was in college, I looked like a Russian writer. Lots of turtle neck sweaters and big black boots and little goatees and that kind of thing. My friends all looked the same. At night, alone, I watched the movie Sixteen Candles over and over and loved it (while I was struggling to talk coherently in classes about Joyce, I could go on for hours about Sixteen Candles). It took me years of writing to realize my voice has much more in common with writer/director John Hughes than with Joyce or Tolstoy. My brain likes Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller, etc. So, that’s good to know. I know what I should be writing, finally.

4. I never wanted to write funny. I wanted to write serious. When my first stories started coming out, people always laughed and said, “Hi-larious!” This was shocking to me, because I thought my stories were sad and deep. My twitch is to cover up sad with funny, which I didn’t know, and perhaps should speak with a therapist about at some point.

5. I can smoke about a thousand cigarettes a day, which is very disgusting. When I was younger, I’d sit at a table and chain-smoke while I wrote. I wouldn’t even notice all the burning cigarettes. Then, at night, my chest killed and I couldn’t breathe. The next day I’d do it again. Smokey McSmokes. Everything in my apartment was smelly and gross. Thankfully, after years of working at it, I’ve figured out how to not smoke while writing (involves ridiculous amounts of exercise, which wasn’t fun at first).

6. If I write three pages a day, in three months I have a draft of a book. Try it! It’s crazy! It still blows my mind! Three pages! Granted, after the first draft there’s a crap load of work to do, but still! 

7. There are really only two or three things I want to talk about in my writing: authenticity and passion, I think actually cover it. Maybe only two things, then. Of course, one can tell a thousand stories about authenticity and passion, so I think I’m all right.

8. Facebook makes monkey brain, which is bad for writer.

9. The more I write, the more I love everybody. Writing makes me see other peoples’ perspectives and follow chains of mistakes that get people into big trouble and I have empathy and I just start loving to whole freaking world for all the disaster and sadness we all have to make it through… There’s good stuff, too, of course. Thank God.

10. Writers write. I wanted to be a writer when I was a teen, but I didn’t write, because I liked football and girls (I also liked the idea of being a writer and living in Paris in a little apartment and wearing a beret and eating French bread, which I don’t do now, by the way… no Paris apartment, either… I do eat French bread on occasion). Writers write. If you write, you’re a writer. If you don’t, you’re not. You don’t have to publish to be a writer. You do have to write. The more you write, the better you get at writing. The longer you write while writing more, the better you know yourself and the world around you and the better your writing gets. And then, something happens. You do really good work. Writers aren’t born. They write and they get better. I guess it’s called hard work. It’s dedication. Writers aren’t born writers. They become writers by writing. Tough lesson. (And sooooo true)

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Thanks Geoff for the visit and the list!
SF
About Stupid Fast, in Geoff Herbach's words:
It’s about a boy.   It’s about sports.  It’s about being a serious dork.  It’s about a paper route.  It’s about bullying and the opposite.  It’s about a girl.  It’s about hair growth.  It’s about a little brother.   It’s about piano.  It’s about a depressed mother.  It’s about learning to be who you are.  It’s about not hiding.
For more about Stupid Fast, you can click here

And you can check out the previous and future tour stops at Teen {Book} Scene.

Also, we'll be hosting a giveaway for a copy of Stupid Fast, starting today -June 9th - and ending at midnight (central) on June 14th. It's US/Canada only, sorry.

All you have to do is FILL THIS FORM and you're done. Winner will be chosen and announced on June 15th. No need to be a follower to enter.

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